IMO, it sounds like the hard drive has problems, if I am interpreting your statements correctly.
My understanding is that your friend changed the boot order, inserted the XP CD. The XP install process started...and then nothing. Is that correct?
If so...I suggest that your friend immediately download a manufacturer's diagnostic and run same on the hard drive, following all instructions for using this utility.
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp. - http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287#samsung
Hard Drive Installation and Diagnostic Tools - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-and-diagnostic-tools/